Live Wire with Luke Burbank-logo

Live Wire with Luke Burbank


Like late-night for radio, Live Wire is hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) and artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and cultural observers.

Like late-night for radio, Live Wire is hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) and artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and cultural observers.


Portland, OR


Like late-night for radio, Live Wire is hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) and artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and cultural observers.




3606 N. Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227 503-548-4920


Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, Todd Haynes, and Melanie Charles

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share our listeners' go-to karaoke songs; Mötley Crüe co-founder and bassist Nikki Sixx describes how his love of storytelling propelled him from a small town kid to a heavy metal icon; Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven, Carol) unpacks his first documentary feature The Velvet Underground, which looks at the lasting legacy of the 1960s experimental rock group; and genre-bending powerhouse Melanie Charles performs a...


Best News: Cardboard Dad

Luke and Elena discuss Tony Passarello's Live Wire fandom, the first female Mariachi band in Denver Colorado, and rescuing a busload of stranded Torontonians.


Isaac Fitzgerald, Carmen Lagala, and No-No Boy

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello chat about childhood misperceptions; writer Isaac Fitzgerald grapples with identity, forgiveness, and a new vision of masculinity in his searing memoir Dirtbag, Massachusetts; stand-up comedian Carmen Lagala explains how her love of the WNBA broke up a teenage relationship; and singer-songwriter No-No Boy performs "Boat People" from his album 1975, as a tribute to the millions who fled southeast Asia after the fall of Saigon.


Best News: Corntastic!

Luke and Elena discuss fly-by summers, food stand hustles, and South Dakota's Corn-Bassador.


EXTRA: Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Marshall, and Demi Adejuyigbe

In this EXTRA episode, comedians and podcasters Paul F. Tompkins (Spontaneanation), Sarah Marshall (You're Wrong About) and Demi Adejuyigbe (Gilmore Guys) team up for a raucous round of "Whose Podcast Is It, Anyway?" live from the stage in Portland, Oregon.


Chuck Klosterman and Making Movies

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello get nostalgic for the 1990s; writer Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) unpacks his newest book The Nineties and admits how the "slacker ethos" of the decade made him embarrassed to succeed as a writer; and international rock band Making Movies explains why it's difficult to separate activism from their music, before performing the title track off their new album XOPA.


Nichole Perkins, Lucy Walker, and Joshua Henry

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello celebrate the songs lyrics that reflect our lives; writer Nichole Perkins discusses her memoir Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be and makes the case for why Niles Crane is sexy; Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker (Waste Land) unpacks her epic documentary Bring You Own Brigade, which goes deep inside the devastation of California's wildfires; and Tony-nominated performer Joshua Henry (Hamilton) shows us how seductive our...


Dylan Marron and Brittany Davis

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello unpack some unexpected topics of conversation; writer and podcaster Dylan Marron chats about his book and podcast of the same name, Conversations with People Who Hate Me, and how a phone call can forge a deeper connection than social media; and musician Brittany Davis explains how music became their first language as a blind person, before performing "Loud Loud World" from their new EP I Choose to Live.


SNL's Cecily Strong and Rapper Shad

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some surprising facts about our listeners; comedian Cecily Strong delves into her memoir This Will All Be Over Soon, which weaves themes of grief with moments of absurdity, like filming SNL with her phone during lockdown; Toronto rapper Shad chats about interviewing his heroes for the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series Hip-Hop Evolution and why he's fine with being the "nice guy" in rap music; plus, Shad performs "Out of Touch" from his...


Jon Mooallem, The Sport Bra's Jenny Nguyen, and Laura Veirs

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello talk dream businesses; writer Jon Mooallem (The New York Times Magazine) discusses his newest collection of essays Serious Face and why you shouldn't tell your friend they look like a 1940’s Spanish bullfighter; chef Jenny Nguyen chats about opening her Portland bar The Sports Bra, which exclusively televises womens' sports; and singer-songwriter Laura Veirs performs "My Lantern" from her new album Found Light.


Daisy Hernandez and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello celebrate the spirit of live performances; writer Daisy Hernández unpacks her latest book The Kissing Bug, a reportage-meets-memoir which outlines the impact of Chagas disease on Latinx communities; Wayne Coyne, frontman of The Flaming Lips, explains how to play a Covid-safe concert using space bubbles; and we hear a performance of their hit song "Do You Realize" from inside a bubble.


Sam Jay, Sean Patton, and Kurt Vile

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some go-to icebreakers from our listeners; comedian and Emmy Award-nominated writer Sam Jay (SNL) chats about turning a party with her friends into poignant content for her HBO show PAUSE; stand-up comedian Sean Patton pokes fun at regional airports with a tough TSA; and singer-songwriter Kurt Vile confesses to being Philadelphia's best forklift driver, before performing "Flyin (Like a Fast Train)" from his new album (watch my moves).


Best News: Summer Break is Here!

In this final episode before a brief hiatus, Luke and Elena discuss their summer plans, including an Alaska writing residency and mega home renovations. The Best News will return weekly beginning September 14, so stay tuned!


Kirsten Johnson, Chris Garcia, and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello celebrate dads this week, in honor of Father's Day; filmmaker Kirsten Johnson comes to terms with the life, death, and legacy of her father through her Netflix documentary Dick Johnson is Dead; comedian and podcaster Chris Garcia pokes fun at his life choices by channeling his Cuban father; and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy serenades us with "Save It For Me," accompanied by his two sons.


Best News: Whatever Rolls Your Meatball

Luke and Elena discuss the Kate Bush resurgence, a missing dachshund that made its way into Hillary Swank's lap, and sexy Swedish trash cans.


Cecily Wong & Andrew Bird

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello dish out some yums and yucks from our listeners; writer Cecily Wong chats about her book Gastro Obscura, which features fascinating food stories from across the globe, including psychedelic honey that was once used as a weapon; and Grammy Award-nominee Andrew Bird explains how he balances painful shyness with being a public figure, before performing "Make a Picture" from his new album Inside Problems.


Best News: Pounce de León

Luke and Elena discuss a turtle on a Hot Wheel, "Hero Rats" with tiny backpacks, and endangered bees now classified as fish.


Kristen Arnett, James Kim, and Lavender Country

In this special episode celebrating "Pride Month," host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello give a shout-out to some unsung (or under-sung) queer heroes; writer Kristen Arnett (Mostly Dead Things) shares why she specifically likes to be referred to as a queer writer and why 7-Eleven is her happy place; podcaster James Kim shares how the language barrier between him and his mother complicated his coming out process… and ultimately inspired his fictional podcast Moonface; and Lavender...


Kathryn Schulz, Keanon Lowe, and John Craigie

Luke and Elena discuss a baby giraffe with human leg braces and a dog that snuggled its way into a stranger's bed; Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker writer Kathryn Schulz unpacks her memoir Lost & Found, which weaves together the loss of her father with finding true love; football coach and mentor Keanon Lowe recounts the day he intercepted a potential school shooter with a hug; and storyteller and singer-songwriter John Craigie explains having to sing around "naughty" words for public radio...


Best News: The Hunter S. Thompson of Public Radio

Luke and Elena discuss kitten claws, a high school student who subbed in as Pearl Jam’s drummer, and a Minnesota prison program that teaches tattooing to inmates.